There are various places around the edges and rims of the Kathmandu Valley that offer great mountain views. Nagarkot, 32km northeast from Kathmandu, is generally held to be the best. Dedicated mountain watchers make their way up to the village, stay overnight in one of Nagarkot’s hotels or lodges, then rise at dawn to see the sun appear over the Himalaya.
Nagarkot is one of the top attractions on the edge of the Valley and there are wonderful overnight hikes that can combine the beautiful townships of Sankhu, Nagarkot and Bhaktapur. On a clear day at Nagarkot, it’s said that one can see mountains all the way from Langtang Lirung in the west to Mt. Everest in the east, and if one is lucky, all the way even to Manaslu farther west. There are multiple options of stay in Nagarkot, from budget lodges to expensive resorts, to suit all tastes.
Between October and March, a trip to Nagarkot will nearly always be rewarded with spectacular views.
Bijay Rai/The Week File photo
Take a microbus to Sankhu from Jorpati or drive by private vehicle. Sankhu is about 18 kms from Kathmandu. Start early to avoid the midday sun while hiking.
Start trekking the gentle uphill from Sankhu to Nagarkot through Newar and Brahmin settlements. On a clear day, you’ll get stunning views of Ganesh Himal, Dorje Lakpa all along the route, till you reach Nagarkot, and the entire panorama opens up to you.
Stay overnight at Nagarkot. Choosing your hotel in advance and booking rooms will be a good idea to avoid having to go door to door and negotiate.
Distance 12 kms | 3.5 hours hiking
After an early rise to see the sunrise and a leisurely breakfast (usually provided by the hotel), start the downhill hike to Bhaktapur. The hike will require you to pass through pine forests and can be very pleasant.
After a leisurely lunch at Bhaktapur, you can drive back to Kathmandu (14 kms). Public transport is easily available if you aren’t using a private vehicle.
Via Nagarkot Road | about 14 kms | 3 hours hiking
Via Sarswatisthan | about 18 kms | 4 hours hiking
The weather is chilly at Nagarkot this time of year. Since you need to walk for quite a while, you’ll feel pretty warm during the hike. So, layered clothing is advised.
A day bag
Reasonable walking shoes
Light warm jacket
The trail is moderately uphill and downhill but it’s easy and anyone can try it out.
socialtours, Tridevi Marg, Thamel
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